Experienced Bicycle Injury Attorneys Will Fight For The Compensation You Deserve
Bicycles that ride alongside vehicles on the roads in South Carolina must follow the same rules of the road and are given the same privileges. One would assume that given the vulnerability of a bicyclist, a driver of a motor vehicle should extend extra courtesy to the individual. This is not always the case, as instances of negligent driving cost many cyclists their lives each year.
In 2017, the United States experienced 1,024 preventable bicycle accident deaths, 679 died in motor vehicle accidents and 345 died in other incidents. The South Carolina Pedestrian and Bicycle Crash Analysis revealed that between 2009 and 2017, 4,750 crashes that involved cyclists occured.
At Hammack Law Firm, our team recognizes how much victims can suffer in the event of a bicycle accident. Our mission is to help you recover to the best of your capacity and obtian the maximum amount of compensation for your claim.
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Five Most Common Types of Bike Accidents
The ‘Right Cross’
When a vehicle emerges from the right side, perpendicular to the path of the bicyclist, a ‘right cross’ is possible.
This occurs when a cyclist has mostly passed the car but the motorist does not wait for proper clearance before taking off, thus swiping the tail of the bicycle. A ‘right cross’ may also occur if a vehicle emerges from the right side, too far up into the bicycle path, and an oncoming cyclist cannot avoid collision, thus crashes into the driver’s side of the vehicle.
The ‘Right Hook’
If a driver makes a right turn at an intersection without yielding and checking for bicyclists on their designated lane to the right of them, then cyclists that are occupying the lane can fall victim to the ‘right hook.’
This can also occur if a motorist overtakes the bicycle lane by cutting off a bicyclist. The driver then presumes that they have enough time and space to turn without interfering with the cyclist’s path. This can cause the cyclist to be taken out by a turning car collide into the passenger side.
The ‘Door Prize’
If a car is parked parallel to the bike lane and a passenger opens the door without taking proper notice of the biker on the path, the bicyclist can face a dooring accident in which they ride straight into the path of an open car door due to a lack of time to react.
The ‘Rear End’
This is the most common way drunk drivers kill bicyclists. Failure to yield to or give enough space while behind a bicycle can result in a deadly ‘rear end’ collision. Low visibility of a bike at night time can also increase the chances of this dangerous scenario.
The ‘Left Cross’
A bicyclist traveling in their lane can face a ‘left cross’ if a driver on the opposite side of the road decides to turn when the bicyclist is about to cross the intersection. Drivers may side-sweep a biker crossing their adjacent path or cause the cyclist to ride into the side of their passing vehicle when a ‘left-cross’ occurs.
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Common Injuries Suffered in Bicycle Accidents
When a driver of a motor vehicle crashes into a bicyclist, the situation can be seriously fatal due to the lack of protection cyclists have and size comparison between the modes of transportation.
Physical injuries that a bicyclist can face in an accident include:
- Road Rash (abrasions suffered by skidding across asphalt)
- Head Trauma
- Spine Injuries
- Face Injuries
- Chipped Teeth
- Ruptured Discs
- Wrongful Death
The traumatic event can also take an emotional toll on cyclists. It is not uncommon for victims of bicycle accidents to deal with post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, sleepless nights, fear of riding again, mental anguish, depression, and other forms of emotional suffering after this event.
Have you or a loved one suffered a serious bicycle accident and wish to seek financial compensation from the liable parties?
South Carolina Bike Laws
In 2008, South Carolina took a huge step forward to protect bicyclists by amending the state’s bicycle safety laws.
SECTION 56-5-3430. The paths on roads which bicyclists may ride on.
- Bicyclists should travel on the designated pathway adjacent to the road, known as the “bicycle lane,” at all times unless to pass another cyclist or avoid an obstruction on the road. A cyclist can ride on the shoulder of the lane if there is no designated bicycle lane, but can choose not to.
- When a bicycle lane is not provided, a bicyclist should always ride as far right to the roadway as is practical. If that right-most lane is blocked, then the cyclist may take on another lane.
- A cyclist must practice due care when passing a standing vehicle or driving alongside a vehicle going in the same direction.
- No more than two bicyclists may ride abreast a single lane, unless that lane is a bicycle lane.
SECTION 56-5-3435. Driver’s responsibility to the bicyclist.
All drivers of motor vehicles must operate at a safe distance from bicyclists.
SECTION 56-5-3440. Passenger etiquette for bicycles.
A bicyclist may only ride astride a permanently set seat attached to the bike. Bicyclists should never carry more passengers than the bike is equipped to carry.
SECTION 56-5-3445. Penalties for harassing cyclists.
Any person that harrasses a motorcyclyist by taunting, yelling, or throwing items at them is violating the law and can face $250 in fines or face 30 days of prison, possibly both.
How much is my bicycle accident case worth?
The Severity of Your Physical Injuries
Past and current medical costs can be calculated to determine the amount of damages you have faced from the injuries suffered in an accident. Future medical treatment, including rehabilitation and medication, may also be factored into the value of your compensation award.
The Impact the Accident Has Had on Your Emotional Wellbeing
Pain and suffering are the emotional damages one can suffer from a bicycle accident. The mental anguish resulting from an accident can impact your quality of life. Although it may be more difficult to calculate these damages, they can still add value to your award.
Lost Wages and Capacity to Work
Your injuries, pain, and suffering may impact your ability to work the way you did before the bicycle accident. This can affect you and your family’s quality of life. Compensation may be recovered for lost wages to recoup from these disparities in income.
The ultimate way to build a strong claim and fight for compensation is to contact an attorney that is equipped to serve you. Our team can offer solid litigation through skillful investigative techniques, dedicated attention to your case, and persistence to get the best outcome.
Your claim’s value is determined by a number of factors, including:
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How Our Law Firm May Assist You After A Bicycle Accident
No matter the specific circumstances of your bicycle accident case, our law firm is prepared to work hard to seek justice for you. The accumulation of bills that can result from such an incident can leave you in a financial bind on top of the physical and emotional stresses that may consume you.
The knowledgeable Greenville bicycle accident lawyer of Hammack Law Firm can assist you in a number of ways, including:
- Discovering the necessary evidence of liability to build your case.
- Informing you of your rights and laws relevant to your situation.
- Offering comfort in knowing your case is being handled effectively.
- Providing individualized attention to your case.
- Defending you claim in front of a jury if necessary.
- Dealing with all legal components of your injury claim.
- Negotiating with insurance companies to help secure a maximum settlement.
Liability determines whether you are eligible for compensation in a bicycle accident. Although you may have been involved in an accident with a motorist, it is up to the evidence to display that the driver breached their ‘duty of care’ and caused your injuries in the accident.
It is important to note that bicyclists must abide by traffic laws the same way that drivers do in South Carolina, with some exceptions. If a cyclist has violated the rules of the road, and specific bike laws, then they may be held accountable, and compensation can be reduced.
If you or a loved one have serious injuries in a bicycle accident where negligent driving was a key cause, you do not need to go through this alone. The Greenville bicycle accident attorneys of Hammack Law Firm can provide the individualized legal representation that you need.